You know you’re never leaving when…

How to tell when you’re turning into a Taiwanese hick:

1) You wear flip-flops everywhere, no matter how important the occasion.

2) You speak Taiwanese better than you speak Mandarin.

3) You can’t read…in any language.

4) You chew betel nuts incessantly.

5) You drink gaoliang (a whisky-like drink made from sorghum) every night.

Ok, so really I’ve only got #1 and #3 down.  I’m never going to adopt #4 and #5, since they taste just plain awful.  #2 is going to be a bit harder, since Taiwanese is a fiendishly difficult language, but I’ll get it eventually.  I’ve got time.

So, I’ve finally accepted that Taiwan is going to be my home for the foreseeable future.  After two-and-a-half years, I’ve grown so comfortable here, I don’t really want to leave anytime soon.

Up until a month ago, I was still telling myself “No, no, you will learn Chinese really well and then go back and get a job in an international trading company…or something.”  Unfortunately, that’s as definite as the plan really got, until I just decided that trying to learn perfect Chinese was just putting too much pressure on myself.  Also, I found a new English teaching job here in Taiwan that will finally pay a decent salary (when I finish training, my salary will be double or triple what it was before).  The cool thing about this job is that I will not have any teaching assistant in the classroom to help me translate.  It’ll just be me and 30 third-graders.  So I’ll actually have to use my Chinese in the class, and I will be their only English teacher.

Oh… the power….

Also, I moved, although it’s starting to look like a might move again in the near future, since my new apartment is still not very close to my new job.

Such is life.  But I’m still having a great time here in Taipei, even with all that I’ve been through lately, and I have no plans on leaving anytime soon, except for vacations.

Love and miss you all.


4 Responses to “You know you’re never leaving when…”

  1. Bill Says:

    Dear Ben,

    “Every Chinese merchant knows us … Don’t try to speak their language. You can’t learn it and it will only make you queer to try. I’ve seen a lot of nice young fellows who have got queertrying to learn Chinese”
    John P. Marquand “Think Fast, Mr. Moto”

  2. Sabrina Says:

    No Ben in the US of A? How sad.

  3. taiwanben Says:

    I’ll still pop back in every year or two, don’t worry! You won’t get rid of me that easy!

  4. mj Says:

    hah.. unless u are ABC and have spoken chinese since u were a tot.. and then u visit ben and laugh at him when the merchants start speaking in taiwanese to ben 🙂 oh wait.. that would be me wouldnt it?

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